Intermediate Programming @Woodbury

Intro to NodeJS

NodeJS logo

Intro to NodeJS

  • NodeJS (aka Node) is a version of Javascript that works outside the browser. It can run on the command line and on servers.
  • Node was originally used for writing backend applications without a browser, though it can be used to manage the server in addition to the software you write for a browser
  • Download Node or on Mac brew install node

Differences from P5JS

  • P5 has a preload, setup and draw loop
  • Node has no draw loop. Statements happen in order and then exit.
  • Node apps are run from the command line

Running Node in the command line

  • After installing, you can launch node by typing node
  • Enter javascript commands one at a time
  • Exit with Control-D or Control-C
  • You can edit node files (javascript files run with node) in any text editor/IDE
  • You can run your program in the Terminal with node filename.js


  • NPM is the Node Package Manager
  • A package manager is a kind of app store for the command line, sometimes for a particular operating system, such as Homebrew for Mac, or for a specific programming language.
  • NPM is the package manager for Node software
  • Each node program you write that will also use NPM software needs a package.json file to list the NPM packages you want to include and use
  • Go to the directory of your program and type npm init --yes and the wizard will walk you throw setting up your node packages for your project
  • To install a package you’ll use npm install <module_name> --save
  • This package will be installed and added in the package.json file for your program
  • To install a node package globally so that all of your programs can use it npm install -g <module>